You read that right – free. Saturday, Sept. 27, is the 10th annual Museum Day Live, which means more than 1,000 museums across America will be open free of charge (visit the site for instructions on getting a ticket, good for 2 people). Quite a few in the Seattle area are taking part, including Seattle Art Museum, MOHAI, Burke Museum, Northwest African American Museum, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, The Museum of Flight, Nordic Heritage Museum and EMP. Tacoma’s Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum and Tacoma Art Museum are also part of the package. If you happen to be weekending in Bellingham, the Whatcom Museum is free, too.
Some new exhibits you might want to check out are listed below, seeing as they’re free and all.
1 'City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India'
Through Feb. 15, 2015, Seattle Art Museum, www.seattleartmuseum.org.
Artists living in some of India’s biggest cities have captured in stunning photos (and a few sculptures) what modern-day life in the country is really like. Tradition looms large, but so does Western high-tech global culture; these artists, tired of outsiders’ “travelogue” views of their country, have boldly taken control of their own stories. In the work shown here, Vivek Vilasini digitally altered an image of a gopura — a richly decorated tower at the entrance of a Hindu temple — replacing the carved deities and demons with images of real people. The artist is on there, and so is his mother. And so are some tourists. And some schoolkids.
2 'Pomp & Circumstance: The Clothing of Transformation'
Through June 21, 2015, Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, www.wshs.org.
Important occasions are almost always marked with important dress — think baptisms, graduations, weddings and coronations. The WSHS examines these significant pieces of clothing from the Northwest’s many cultures and rituals, from a hand-woven cedar graduation cap to a 19th-century wedding gown. The exhibits were drawn from the museum’s own supply and private local and regional collections.
3 'The Color of Time: Ballard from Dusk to Dawn'
Through Nov. 16, Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, www.nordicmuseum.org.
Photographer Tod Gangler portrays Ballard as a neighborhood in transition — again — via a series of images that play around with the notion of what time looks like. “The photographs are made with a unique process that includes a long exposure time, which not only creates beautiful, intriguing images, but also alludes to the rich history of the art and science of photography,” according to the museum.